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Obituary: menswear journalist David Harvey (1930-2014)

Tributes have been paid to menswear and textiles journalist David Harvey, who died on September 2 after a short fight against cancer. He was 84 and died at his home in Cuxham, Oxfordshire.

Harvey was born in Croydon in 1930. His father died when he was barely in his teens, so the bright boy left school at 15 and began as a cub reporter on the Croydon Times. He did his National Service in the RAF, which he picked, he said, “because it had the prettiest uniform”.

His interest in British textile and clothing manufacturing began when he joined the national publicity provider, the Central Office of Information. He worked for a few years handling press relations for Hardy Amies before becoming press officer at the International Wool Secretariat around the time of the launch of the Woolmark in 1964.

In the second half of his career, Harvey was a writer, specialising in yarn, fabric and menswear for titles like Drapers Record (now Drapers), Men’s Wear, The Observer and Herren-Journal in Germany. He was Pitti Immagine’s UK representative for many years.

“I remember his sartorial elegance. David looked the part and really owned his space. He had a huge presence either in the news room or in the aisle of a menswear show. His style and gossip will be much missed,” remarked industry PR Linda Laderman, who edited Men’s Wear magazine from 1980 to 1984.

“David Harvey was a kind, intelligent and gifted man, who was a true friend and an asset to our industry,” said Neil Harrison, head of sales at countrywear brand Chrysalis Clothes after previous stints at Gloverall and John Comfort. “Over so many years David always found the time, especially at the shows to stop, to say hello, to introduce others, to catch up, to keep informed and so much more. He will be sadly missed but always remembered with fondness. It has been a privilege to have known him.”

From Florence, Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive of the Pitti fairs, added: “Everybody here is deeply sad. David has been a friend, a great professional, un signore, an elegant gentlemen, very passionate about his work, a great lover of the fashion world with an extraordinary sense of humour. We started working together in the early 1990s and his presence at Pitti Uomo, Bimbo and Filati was part of our success. The unique friendship we have had with the British press, the exhibitors and the buyers is for sure due to David.”

A “farewell” to David Harvey for friends will be held at Cuxham village hall from 11.30am to 12.15pm on Monday September 22, to be followed by a private cremation.

No flowers please. If you wish to remember David with a charitable donation, please send a cheque to: Friends of Watlington Library Charity, 35 High Street, Watlington, Oxfordshire OX49 5PZ or BACS payment to account 90045136, sort code 20 39 53, ref: David Harvey.

Readers' comments (1)

  • A true gentleman who will be truly missed by all who new him . I loved his knowledge and sense of fun, he was always a pleasure to see at Pitti etc.
    Well done Peter Hoyle !!

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